This Small Biz is Sticking it to Yelp

Cailley Hammel Headshot
Photo Of A Restaurant Chalkboard Featuring Complaints From Yelp
Photo courtesy of Yelp/Trevor N.

Small business owners have had it with Yelp. Many have complained in the past about unfair reviews, bullish company representatives and glowing reviews that suddenly go missing — and to make matters worse, Yelp was recently given legal permission to alter ratings based on whether a given business advertised or not.

But one pizza company is taking matters into its own hands. San Francisco’s Botto Bistro is offering its customers a unique deal: Leave a 1-star review on Yelp and get 25 percent off the next pizza. In an interview with SFGate, owner David Cerrentini called it “the best business move I have made in years.”

According to USA Today, Cerrentini was reportedly receiving up to 20 phone calls each week from Yelp representatives imploring him to advertise. He eventually gave in and advertised for six months. After he stopped, though, he noticed his ranking slipped, the negative reviews increased and some of his best reviews disappeared. 

That’s when the 1-star promotion was born. So far, Cerrentini says he's seen support from the local community and, of course, his loyal patrons. 

And of this post, the Botto Bistro Yelp page has more than 1200 reviews — and a one-star rating. 

Have you had bad experiences with Yelp? Would you try a promotion like this? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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